Hi, I'm Niels


The 4 Boxes

1. Consumerism

Few things compare to the high we get from buying new stuff. But it never lasts. So we keep filling up our apartments, hoping the next purchase will finally make us feel happy.

But you can overcome this. You can wean yourself off consumerism, and learn to live with just the bare essentials.

The moment you do, you gain clarity. You become more mobile. And you realize that happiness is the experience, not the thing.

2. The 9 to 5

We spend half of our time awake doing work we despise, penned up with people we didn't choose to be with.

Life becomes a countdown — 2 hours until I can go home, 3 days until the weekend, 4 months until my next vacation.

This is no way to live. To be happy, you must overcome wage slavery. There are alternatives.

3. Groupthink

Most people fear nothing more than to deviate.

So, they recite whatever doctrine is currently in fashion. If everybody is a religious hardliner, so are they. If everybody is a woke moralist, so are they.

But it's boring. Interesting things only happen outside the herd. If you can overcome your fear, there is adventure to be had.

4. Monogamy

If someone told you, you can eat only one meal for the rest of your life, or read only one book, or visit only one country, you would think them insane.

Yet, this is exactly how we go about love. We turn it into a mutual prison.

Real love requires freedom. When you let the other person be, your own shackles fall off as well.

11 Facts About Me

  1. I was born in Germany, close to Frankfurt.
  2. As a child, my dad took me to the US several times, which started my ongoing love-hate relationship with the States. I also studied there.
  3. I am an utter nerd. Fantasy novels. Model airplanes. Juggling. LARPs. I have done it all.
  4. Being bullied as a kid led to my interest in combat sports. I am a black belt in both Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo.
  5. I have broken my left collarbone three times, had surgery on my right knee, ripped the LCL in my left knee, separated my shoulder, and broke my nose — all while training.
  6. OCD is my middle name. I make lists for everything, like to place stuff symmetrically, and must check that the oven is turned off multiple times.
  7. My favorite places in the world are New York City, Rome, and all of Southeast Asia.
  8. For the last 16 years, I have only been in open relationships of some kind.
  9. To this day, I have not met a person who can eat more than me. Same thing with drinking alcohol (even though I almost never drink).
  10. Speaking of food, I have been eating a paleo diet since 2013. It cured my lifelong chronic sinus infections.
  11. My biggest fear in life is losing someone I love. I am very bad at grieving.